Self-taught artist Kurt Haas said, "Art is the one place where I can be truly free." This axiom is my art teacher mantra. Our classroom goal is to be free to take risks, make choices, reinvent mistakes and challenge ourselves---engage in artistic behaviors that empower students through art every day.
Our elementary school is a high-poverty public fine arts school in an urban environment.
Our 600+ students receive fine arts instruction in drama, music, visual and digital arts each week. We love making art and are very passionate about arts integration at our school---every visual art project we create is linked to our homeroom's core curriculum. In this way, we are always applying what we learn in a creative, meaningful and innovative way! We are a creative, kind and curious group of students who have a strong sense of community and love of the arts.
The goal of our proposal is empowering students through art by creating opportunities to use professional-grade materials including watercolor and Jazz tempera paint, chalk and oil pastel, ink and 3D media such as wood and textiles. We will explore a new art library that focuses on non-traditional, self-taught artists and will choose art making options directed by student voice.
Students will work in modified choice-based studios in order to make independent creative decisions as artists. These studios will provide diverse students freedom to determine the best fit for their learning styles, interests and ability levels. Students will often choose their own media and methods and make their own tools and materials in order to empower them as creative thinkers. Students will act as docents and teach others about their artworks inspired by self-taught artists at their culminating all-school exhibit. Student voice and choice will be our driving force as we empower students through art.
We need your support in order to make artworks that inspire our students' creativity, honor the art making traditions of self-taught artists, and reinforce our commitment to learning that is authentic, personal, meaningful and memorable.
Art materials are consumable---the more we use, the more we need. The more art we create, the more we learn about our world and ourselves and the more we grow. We will share our new learning (and art) with our community---it's a gift that keeps giving!
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